"One of these days I am going have that android rewired."
Captain Lorca chuckled, and gently corrected her friend and XO. "Nah... you'd be bored if you didn't have to deal with her!"
Tye shook her head. "According to the griping, she's gone berserk on the SIC floor and has them all sterilizing after each exhale"
The Captain grinned. "Well, we did say that we wanted it clean enough to eat off of."
"I really do need to phrase my orders better. Look! Fresh victims!"
The captain reached out, and poked a harried looking officer wearing science colors. "Yep. Almost cooked all the way through." They stepped quickly into the Science Information Center before the door closed behind the escaping officers, making some attempt to contain their levity, but not much. "Oh Joy!?"
"Captain? Wait! Don't move!"
The exalted commanders of USS Hawking froze. "WHAT?!"
Lt. Commander Joy Eleven hastened over with two pair of disposable sterile booties. "Please put these on?"
"Why should I put those on?" the captain asked, with a roll of her eyes.
Tye, in her own fashion, repeated the question. "Joy, what the hell are you doing?"
Joy drew herself up to her full height, and gave the proper and succinct response. "I am trying to maintain Standard SFH43-A."
The captain blinked. Her mouth opened. It closed. Words came out. "Uh.. Standard SFH43-A?"
Joy spoke slowly and clearly, to make sure they understood. "Serving dishes, non-replicator, organic. You were just in the main corridor. Your shoes are likely not sterile."
Tye rubbed a hand over her face. "Joy, listen you are making your people insane with standard SFH43-A."
Joy again evaluated, then disagreed. "I do not believe so. Their sanity level has actually improved considerably since leaving Five Corners Nebula."
Tye waved her pair of booties in front of Joy. "You DO NOT plan to offer Admiral Ender a pair of these do you?"
"How long do you intend me to keep SFH43-A?"
Tye considered offering up an artificial sneeze, just to put the android in a tizzy. "Until about... oh... the minute we walked in here."
Joy looked relieved. "We may secure from the drill, then?"
Lorca tilted her head, looking right at Joy as if the android was a few bolts shy. "Commander... Uhm... when we said... clean enough to eat off of... that was figurative... not literal..."
"Yes Joy, Figurative."
"This is one of the orders that you give which are not intended to be obeyed?"
The stern master of all she surveyed strove mightily to prevent out loud giggles. "Not to this extent... no."
Tye added, "We were dramatizing, honestly."
Joy contemplated the distinction between honest and dishonest drama.
"Oh by the Prophets," Tye exclaimed, "Joy haven't you learned yet that you can not take everything we say chapter and verse? We're wildly known for being metaphoric."
"That is not the word I have heard used most often, but I will try to keep this in mind."
"Ahem..." Tye looked stern. "We won't go into the word used to describe us most often."
Lorca waved a hand. "We just meant for you to insure that the areas that you are responsible for to be clean, but still functional."
"I promise, commander," said Tye, "this will be over in two days and then we will head back out and all will return to normal."
"Normal?" Joy seemed to have some difficulty associating the word with the USS Hawking.
Tye was helpful. "Yeah, you know business as usual."
Joy was suddenly alarmed. "I will be back in command again?"
Joy hesitated. "Um... It seems... Most missions lately...."
Tye laughed. "I assure you commander, The Captain and I plan to hold onto the bridge this time."
Joy looked relieved. "That would be appreciated."
"In the meantime, please don't drive your people nuts trying to make things sterile. Presentable will be fine."
"Presentable? SFI-27B? With or without white cotton gloves?"
Tye smiled. "I don't know this admiral firsthand but, I am suspecting, with would be appropriate. No dust. I'll be on the bridge if you find yourself in need of further clarification"
"Very will. Fortunately, this ought to be a subset of SFH43-A."
"Try to relax, Joy."
"Perhaps after the admiral is gone we can have a picnic? It would be a shame to get the floor this clean, and not have a picnic."
Tye and Lorca laughed, turning toward the door, shaking their heads.